Jay DJ Heroin(e) Linden Blair
Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Belbury Poly — From an Ancient Star

Belbury Poly - From an Ancient StarBel­bury Poly, the first and still pop­pi­est artist on Ghost Box’s ros­ter, released their third full-length record ear­li­er this win­ter. Despite being the least abra­sive of the Ghost Box club, they’ve still always retained a creepy vibe, some­thing that is a lit­tle less pro­nounced here. Still, it’s more of what you’ve come to expect from the niche label — gur­gling and plunk­ing elec­tron­ics seat­ed square­ly in a half-imag­i­nary past of British alche­my, mys­ti­cism, and edu­ca­tion­al mul­ti­me­dia.

Also notable is the album art’s increased depar­ture from the Romek Mar­ber homages that have char­ac­ter­ized Ghost Box releas­es. I’d have admired their tenac­i­ty if they had stuck with the same tem­plate through every release, but I guess they can’t be blamed for want­i­ng to try some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

And if you are in or around Lon­don, be sure not to miss the Bel­bury Youth Club Night at The Shunt Lounge, this Wednes­day, March 11.

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Ryoji Ikeda

Photo by neural.it

Pho­to by neural.it

I have to admit that I’m rel­a­tive­ly new to this genre, so my inter­est in it is fun­da­men­tal­ly lack­ing in any his­tor­i­cal con­text. But I knows what I likes, and this is grip­ping stuff. In my flir­ta­tions with this kind of min­i­mal­is­tic, abstract elec­tron­i­ca, I’ve found that it’s dif­fi­cult to achieve a bal­ance between a com­mit­ment to exper­i­men­tal­ism and sheer lis­ten­abil­i­ty, but I think Ryo­ji Ike­da suc­ceeds. Though large­ly form­less, save for at most skele­tal rhythms, his new album Test Pat­tern is imme­di­ate­ly engag­ing mere­ly through its mono­chro­mat­ic, micro­ton­al tex­tures. It skit­ters and pops at a some­times fran­tic pace, crack­ling, buzzing, and ring­ing in enough var­ied ways that I’m tru­ly nev­er bored by it. If you’ve been avoid­ing “amelod­ic non­sense” like this, here’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to have your mind changed. I only hope it’ll lead me to more things that sur­prise me in the same way.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Ratatat, Past and Future

Ratatat - Shiller artworkIt seems Ratatat are get­ting ready to fol­low up their 2006 sopho­more release Clas­sics, which I thought was leaps and bounds above their debut self-titled, and cer­tain­ly one of my favorites from that year, if not this decade. Two weeks ago they released the sin­gle Shiller, whose A-side you can lis­ten to here. Both tracks are creepy and less beat-dri­ven than their recent stuff, for sure, and I’m glad to see them reach­ing again this time around. “Shiller” will be fea­tured on their forth­com­ing LP, LP3, which Evan Mast describes as being “wild­ly dif­fer­ent than any­thing we’ve done” as well as “by far the best album we’ve ever made,” in this inter­view with Audio­junkies. Hey that sounds promis­ing doesn’t it.

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Monday, December 31st, 2007

Department of Eagles

Department of EaglesAlthough I love lis­ten­ing to Break­fast of Cham­pi­ons each morn­ing, there are actu­al­ly very few times I’m com­pelled to take note of any par­tic­u­lar thing they play. But this morn­ing I heard “Fam­i­ly Romance” by Depart­ment of Eagles, and had to call in make sure I got their name.

Depart­ment of Eagles is a duo com­posed of Daniel Rossen (of Griz­zly Bear) and Fred Nico­laus. The song, while amaz­ing, didn’t rep­re­sent the full range of what they do. I was able to snag a copy of The Cold Nose; it’s a sur­pris­ing­ly var­ied blend of odd sam­ples (strings, piano, spo­ken word), elec­tron­ic manip­u­la­tions, drum machine, acoustic/electric gui­tar, vocal cho­rus­es, and prob­a­bly sev­er­al oth­er things I’m for­get­ting. The per­va­sive hip-hop lean­ings — which tend to be dark, DJ Shad­ow-inspired dal­liances — are prob­a­bly most exem­pli­fied in “Forty Dol­lar Rug,” a tongue-in-cheek glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of bach­e­lor life (“Forty dol­lar rug/ Twen­ty dol­lar lamp/ Playsta­tion 2/ Tony Hawk 4”).

Mean­while, they don’t mind sound­ing like Radio­head at times, in their creepy, Kid A-like har­monies, albeit backed by weird things Radio­head would prob­a­bly nev­er touch.

The Cold Nose was orig­i­nal­ly released in 2003 under a dif­fer­ent title, and was just reis­sued this year with some bonus tracks; for my mon­ey, it’s bet­ter than any­thing Rossen has done with Griz­zly Bear, and I’m sor­ry to have only come across it so recent­ly. The project is, as far as I can tell, defunct.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Songs of Green Pheasant

Songs of Green PheasantSongs of Green Pheas­ant is the record­ing name of Dun­can Sump­n­er, orig­i­nal­ly of Eng­land, and resid­ing now in Cal­i­for­nia. I’ll be damned if I can remem­ber where I heard about Aer­i­al Days, 2006’s fol­low-up EP to his debut LP of 2005, but for a while in June it sound­tracked my falling asleep at night.

Any­way I just got a hold of his new LP, Gyl­lyng Street, and it’s pret­ty beau­ti­ful. Accu­sa­tions of freak-folk­dom weren’t total­ly unfound­ed before, but I think this release will help to abol­ish that mis­cat­e­go­riza­tion. It’s gauzy, even a lit­tle shoegazey, and, admit­ted­ly, kind of pas­toral. But its chug­ging momen­tums and elec­tron­ic flour­ish­es recall Bibio, Chessie, Cari­bou at times (due to the vocal qual­i­ty, I think), and I swear I even hear a lit­tle Joy Divi­sion. “West Coast Pro­fil­ing” is par­tic­u­lar­ly great, rat­tling along grace­ful­ly for five min­utes before mor­ph­ing into a bleak, fune­re­al elec­tric gui­tar line, soar­ing, uniden­ti­fi­able pipes, and thump­ing, tam­bourine-led per­cus­sion. A great sound­track to the falling tem­per­a­tures.

Resounder News

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

WordPress Design Contest

Resounder is com­pet­ing in WPWebHost’s Word­Press design con­test, in the “Retro & Vin­tage” cat­e­go­ry. Vis­i­tors are encour­aged to vis­it the front page or the archives for a fuller view of its design.

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Resounder Is Looking for Bloggers

There used to be four of us.  Now there is one.

If you have an active inter­est in new music, and the abil­i­ty to post once or more a week,  please email jay@resounder.org.